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Banned NZ YA novel ‘Into the River’ sold to the US

US publisher Polis Books has bought the North American rights to New Zealand author Ted Dawe’s 2013 YA novel Into the River, which was placed under an interim ban in the author’s home country on 3 September.

Polis Books, an independent New Jersey-based publishing house, bought the rights to Into the River and its companion title, the 2003 novel Thunder Road, directly from Random House New Zealand, with the aim of publishing the books in the US and Canada in June 2016.

Polis Books publisher Jason Pinter said it was ‘fitting’ that during Banned Books Week ‘we add Into the River to the list of books whose message will not be silenced’. ‘In the end the ban means many more people will want to read this wonderful novel about the challenges a young man faces when exposed to life beyond his community,’ said Pinter.

Dawe said in a statement: ‘I wrote these books with the intent that they could be taught in schools and embraced by readers who might otherwise be difficult to reach. It is great to have made landfall in the US and Canada, and I look forward to being part of a progressive organisation in Polis that can help achieve that goal.’

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the New Zealand Film and Literature Board of Review has put a temporary restriction order on the supply, display and distribution of Into the River while the Board considers whether to reclassify the book as an R18 title. The order was made by Board president Don Mathieson following complaints from conservative political party Family First about the book’s portrayal of teenagers having sex and taking drugs.


Category: Junior Local news